D.C. Metro Area Rallies for March for Babies

Participants start the walk/run in support of the March of Dimes' March For Babies at Watkins Regional Park in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, on April 28. (Demetrious B. Kinney/The Washington Informer)
Participants start the walk/run in support of the March of Dimes' March For Babies at Watkins Regional Park in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, on April 28. (Demetrious B. Kinney/The Washington Informer)

The March for Babies, presented by Pepco Holdings to benefit March of Dimes, raised more than $75,000 in Prince George’s County on Saturday, April 28.

In a day full of music, face painting and arts and crafts, more than 600 participants showed up to support the cause. Participants pushed through the three-mile walk, which began in Watkins Regional Park in Upper Marlboro, to help the organization meet its goal of $100,000.

A week earlier, more than 200,000 Washingtonians showed their support in the D.C. march, which raised more than $550,000.

The march aims to shed light on issues regarding premature births and the defects that may follow.

March of Dimes said it helps 4 million babies born each year. Nationally, the organization helps raise awareness and funds to tackle the most threatening health-related issues for mothers and infants. They work to prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality through research, education, vaccines and research breakthroughs.

Special guests at the D.C. event included Dave Velazquez, president and CEO of Pepco Holdings and the 2018 March for Babies chair, as well as 5-year-old Steele Peverill, the 2018 March of Dimes D.C. ambassador, and his family.

Nineteen years after having their first child, Lisa and Todd Peverill became pregnant with their second child. At 18 weeks and at 22 weeks, Lisa prematurely went into labor.

Through extensive surgery and hospitalization, the birth of Steele took place after just 25 weeks of pregnancy.

“It was a memorable and rewarding day for all of us,” Lisa said. “After Steele was born 16 weeks prematurely, we decided we wanted to do everything possible to help spare other families from the trauma we experienced. We’re honored to represent March of Dimes today as we raise critical funds to help tackle the biggest health threats to moms and babies.”

Premature birth and its complications are the largest contributors to infant death in the U.S. and pregnancy-related death has more than doubled over the past 25 years. From advocacy to education to research, March of Dimes said it working to level the playing field so that all moms and babies are healthy.

“We saw today how important the health of mothers and babies is to the people of Washington, D.C.,” Velazquez said. “I am so proud to be part of this community of people, including many dedicated Pepco team members, who came together to join in the fight for the health of these families.”

Stacey Stewart, president of the March of Dimes, also joined walkers on the three-mile route as All in One Entertainment provided tunes to keep the energy high.

Visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org for more information.

The 2018 March for Babies is sponsored nationally by Kmart, Famous Footwear, Macy’s, HCA, Cigna, Pampers and regional sponsor Publix Super Markets, Inc. In our community, March for Babies is sponsored by Pepco Holdings, BGE, Safeway, Subway, Washington Informer, WTOP and Washington Business Journal.

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